Seven of our current members are celebrating the anniversary of becoming performing members!

Eleanor, Helena, and Eddie celebrate at the 2018 Japanese Festival Opening Ceremony

A Month of Taikoversaries

This month, we are celebrating the "taikoversaries" of seven of our current performing members - nearly half the group! Performing members Eddie, Eleanor, Helena, Hitomi, Jason, Jeremy and Rosemary have been reminiscing over their auditions and early days in the group, and how much has changed since joining the ensemble.

Helena ties Rosemary's hachimakiLeft: Helena helps Rosemary with her hachimaki (headband) during her early days as a performing member. Getting into costume takes a lot of practice for new members, and sometimes our seasoned members, too!

These performers have been together a long time, dating back to 2010 and earlier. Helena first joined the group in 2004; only artistic director Andrew Thalheimer has been with the group longer! A lot has changed over the years - most notably, we now have our own studio space and equipment van. Eleanor recalls the practice space when she became a member in 2010, when we used classroom space at University of Missouri - St. Louis (UMSL). The room was so small that only four people could play at a time - not easy for an ensemble of 15-18 members! Then, to make it to a performance, members would load drums, stands, and other equipment into personal vehicles to get to the venue. Today, we have our own studio space where we have plenty of room to practice as a full ensemble, and we no longer have to rely on members to drive minivans and SUV's because we have our own group van that can hold all of our equipment, even for our largest events. As Eleanor notes, we're living in the lap of taiko luxury!

Rosemary, Eddie, and Eleanor play inside the dashi at the annual Japanese FestivalAbove: One thing that continues is our fun inside the dashi at the Japanese Festival in St. Louis. At the 2011 festival, Rosemary, Eddie, and Eleanor are in the parade float, ready to introduce people of all ages to taiko.

We're amazed by the continued enthusiasm for taiko that even the longest-standing members have, and we're grateful for their leadership as new taiko enthusiasts come into the group. Here's to many more "taikoversaries" to come!


Register for Classes

Our Adult Beginning class resumes in January! You will learn the basics of sticking, kata (form), movement, theory, and rhythms of taiko, plus some pieces you can play. In addition to good exercise, it helps improve self-awareness, rhythm, and concentration. It can also relieve stress and is a lot of fun!

Adult Beginning Class
January 6 - March 10
Sundays 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Age 16 and up
Cost: $160 / 10 sessions

Do you have a group of kids, age 5-15, who are interested in playing taiko? Contact us with the details and to make arrangements for classes.
Lion Chant (Image Credit: Kevin Dingman)

Song Profile: Lion Chant

Written by Shoji Kameda

Lion Chant is a relatively new piece written by Grammy nominated musician, composer, and producer Shoji Kameda. Written for the online taiko education site kaDON, Lion Chant draws inspiration from multiple cultures, resulting in a very catchy but technically challenge piece filled with interlocking patterns and grooves.

Lion Chant brings together the musical styles of Edo Bayashi, the festival music of Old Tokyo that accompanies shishimai (lion dance), and a vocal percussion style from Bali called "kechak," also known as "monkey chant." During the kechak portion, our performers vocalize interlocking patterns while also playing on the taiko. It is quite a challenge, but very rewarding when it all comes together. 

Jeremy plays western drums during Lion Chant (Image Credit: Kevin Dingman)
Above: Jeremy shows his talents playing western drum kit during our Lion Chant debut at this year's Japanese Festival. The audience was very surprised by the unexpected arrangement!

Lion Chant is new to our repertoire; we performed it for the first time at the 2018 Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden.

Above photos courtesy of Kevin Dingman.

Thank you for your support; see you in 2019!

With the support of our taiko friends, donors, and family, we had another successful year sharing the art of taiko in St. Louis and surrounding areas.

We hope 2019 will be another amazing year filled with new performance and workshop opportunities, collaborations with other artists, and building on our ties in the taiko community.

Arigatou gozaimashita - thank you - for another wonderful year of opportunities; we look forward to bringing taiko to the community in the New Year!

We are a non-profit group that performs the art of taiko around the St. Louis area and the world.
Copyright © 2015 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko, All rights reserved.
10734 Trenton Ave. | St. Louis, MO 63132
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St. Louis Osuwa Taiko · 10734 Trenton Ave. · St. Louis, MO 63132 · USA

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